Tag Archives: work

Looking for childcare?

When it came time for me to return to work, I toured a lot of childcare centres. To be honest I didn’t fall in love with any of them. Staff were always lovely but the centres were often quite old and run down.

Now there is a new wave of childcare centres on the scene and they are amazing. Hudson, Scarlett and I recently had a wonderful time checking out the Guardian Early Learning Group centre at 101 Collins Street Melbourne. There are 38 of these centres in Victoria and many more Australia wide, if you are considering childcare it’s definitely worth checking them out.

The centre we went to is located at 101 Collins Street, right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. perfect for working parents.  I was expecting a small centre with not a lot of light and no outdoor areas. However, the centre is huge (it spans over two levels), really bright and there are two large indoor/outdoor areas for the kids to play.

In addition to the indoor outdoor areas I learnt about the amazing ways they get the children out and about. There is a special 8 seater stroller that is used for trips to the park, art gallieries and walks around the CBD. They have super cute little rain suits so the kids can really enjoy their time out and not even Melbourne weather will stop them.

Scarlett’s highlight was meeting the pet fish and the kids even got to hold the pet bird that lives at the centre.

Hudson loved the indoor/outdoor area and even made a friend while he was playing outside.

I loved the open plan feel, light bright presentation of the centre. However, my absolute highlight was the open kitchen area. Children can sit and watch the chef prepare their nutritional meals and everyone is welcome at the centre for breakfast. This would definitely help with time management in the mornings as mum, dad and any siblings are welcome to eat with the little ones.  Parents only have to worry about getting dressed and hopping on the train or in the car. A nutritional breakfast is waiting at childcare (including coffee).  I often drop the kids off in a frenzy and end up eating something in the car or skipping breakfast all together.

There is an open door policy and parents are welcome to visit their children at anytime (perfect for breastfeeding mummas), the director told me some parents take their kids out to lunch. I would love to be able to have lunch dates with Hudson and Scarlett on work days. or simply pop in and say hello, I think they would love it and I would have way less mummy guilt about having to leave them while I work.

There is a fully funded kinder program and the fees are really reasonable. If you would like more information feel free to contact one of the Guardian centres or check out their website 

Rachelle xx

 

 

 

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How do you do it?

I’m a working mother, I work 4 days a week and have had my job for 6 years. After both of my children I returned to work relatively early (7 months). Working gives me balance and purpose. Plus, I like contributing to our household income and setting an example for Hudson and Scarlett. However, the older they get the more I am struggling. 

My work has a policy where I am meant to return to work full time when Scarlett is at school. This is still a few years away but it’s a concept that I struggle to get my head around. School isn’t like daycare. The hours are much shorter. I often lay awake worrying hiw this will work? How on earth is this managable? Can I be present for my children, get them to after school activities, help with homework and be the mum I want to be. All of this while working 40 hours a week (with a 2 hour commute each day)??? If anything this is a time where they really need me to be there for them. 

My husband runs his own business so his hours are long and ge can’t do drop offs or pick ups, he also doesn’t get paid annual leave. This means before and after school care with school holiday programs. I can get some help from family, but again I don’t want to be the mum that is never there. 

How on earth do parents manage? Working full time, children, homework, food shopping, cleaning, washing, cooking, activities, family time and friends. Is it even possible? Cost of living is expensive so its really just not as easy as throwing in the towel and saying ‘I quit.’ 

It appears in our quest to have and do it all we have found ourselves in some sort of crazy situation where it is impossible.

I’m so thankful for my job and healthy children. In no way am I whinging. I’m simply asking the question. Is it even possible? Will I regret these choices later in life? Will my children resent their mother who was always rushing around and busy?  I want to be there for my babies while they still need me. 

Other working mums, how do you do it? 

Rachelle xx 

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Stay at home mums. Take a bow!  

There are all sorts of mum’s. Working mums, stay at home mum’s, work from home mum’s, some work part time, some volunteer and some travel for a living and go days without seeing their babies.

For some reason there seems to be a constant battle between working and stay at home mums? I don’t get it, but it exists. I work 4 days a week. On the day off I have I catch up on chores, go to appointments, cook, play with my kids and try to catch up on life. It’s stressful yes, but being a mum in any form is stressful. I believe it comes with the job. However, after being home a lot the past few weeks with Hudson who broke his arm. I can honestly say that I believe stay at home mums have it super hard. 

Firstly, they can’t go out to playdates or spend money on activities everyday. Going for walks and to the park only lasts so long and you have one (or more) little people who are looking for constant attention and entertainment. Stay at home mothers are in the trenches all day everyday. They can’t just pop up the street at lunchtime to grab something for dinner. They must load the car with little people, nappies, snacks, toys etc……their houses are in constant play mode with toys and books being played with all day everyday. Not to mention the craft supplies or play-doh that is probably crowding every inch of bench space.  

Stay at home mums work around nap times everyday and probably watch the clock until their partner walks through the door just so they can have 5 mintues without little hands pulling at them. They don’t get credit for what they do, they don’t get paid and I guarantee a lot of their partners don’t really see what they are doing as hard work. Well I’m here to tell you it is! 

I love my children dearly but by working I get a break outside the family home. I interact with other adults, eat my lunch without having to share or kiss boo boos, I have personal space for a few hours and can enjoy going to the toilet alone. I often pick up something for dinner at lunchtime and while my house isn’t clean, it’s not constantly being pulled apart as we are out for long days 3-4 days each week. Working requires me to be really organised and my job is busy. I have stressful days (especially when I have sick kids) but all mothers have these moments.

Now, before anyone comments about they are our children, we chose to have them, things could be worse and this generation of mothers are whingers. I’m not saying anyone needs a trophy. I just believe that working mothers get a lot of credit in the media and in society. Stay at home mum’s don’t always get the pat on the back they deserve.  This is my opinion only, but I really think it’s time that stay at home mum’s get credit where its due and they all deserve a high five for just getting it done. 

The working/stay at home debate needs to stop. There are positives and negatives of whatever you choose. In reality the only thing you should be worried about is what suits you, your family and your circumstances. 

In the meantime…….Well done stay at home mummas, from a working mum who can appreciate how hard it must be.

Rachelle xx 

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Working mum tips

Since returning to work after having my daughter I have had to stay super organised so everything doesn’t get out of hand at home. I worked after having my son but now with an extra person there is more washing, food prep and just general mess. My husband does help, but he works six days a week and long hours so he does what he can.

Here are some of my working mum tips:
● Meal prep: spend some tipe cooking and freezing. I often spend a Sunday afternoon making baby food, pasta sauce and casseroles that I can pop in the freezer and quickly reheat for healthy meals after work.

● Shop smart: if you dont have time to get to the shops order online. I also always have some frozen vegetables in the freezer so I can whip up a quick stir fry after work.

● Pack at night: I pack childcare bags and lunches the night before. It saves things being forgotten in the morning rush.

● Think ahead: I constantly use lists and calendars to make sure I am on top of everything. Without these everything would fall apart and I would remember nothing.

● Label everything: Things get lost at childcare. Why spend all your cash replacing lost clothes. Pop labels on everything so it’s easier for childcare to keep all belongings together.

● Take shortcuts: we have a dishwasher, this makes life so much easier. I also cook simple healthy meals on the nights I work. I don’t attempt new recipies or Masterchef dinners. It’s just not worth the heartache.

● Don’t procrastinate: I sometimes spend a day thinking about my annoying large pile of washing. I find if I just tackle it and get it out of the way, my mind is free and I enjoy my day. With no yukky pile of washing hanging over my head.

● Ask for help: I learnt that my husband doesn’t mind helping around the place but he often does doesn’t know where to start. I ask him for help and things get done. If I wait for him to just do things….well…..I would still be waiting.

● Stick to a routine: children love routine and so do I. It helps me know what I need to and what gets done next. Of course we relax on the weekend but we pretty much stick to a routine on weekdays to keep life predictable and easy.

Don’t be to hard on yourself. Being a working mum is hard. Things don’t go to plan and life is always changing. Being organised helps me stay on top of everything. I’m no super woman, I take short cuts, loose my temper and hate getting out of bed. I use the tips above to muddle through. If all else fails order take away and pour a wine.

Rachelle xx

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